This recipe is inspired by the now famous Salty Honey Pie served at Four and Twenty Blackbirds in New York City. I have added tahini and chocolate to my pie as they are natural bedfellows and seem to bring out the best in each other. Add a pinch of sea salt flakes and a touch of vinegar to round things off and this is what you get.
You will need a 20-cm [8-in] fluted tart tin
100g [1/2 cup minus 1 Tbsp] unsalted butter, at room temperature
50g [scant 1/4 cup] tahini
50g [5 3/4 Tbsp] icing [confectioners’] sugar
a good pinch of salt
2 medium egg yolks
200g/1 1/2 cups plain [all-purpose] flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ice-cold water
50g [1 3/4 oz] dark [bittersweet] chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
175g [3/4 cup] unsalted butter
225g [3/4 cup] clear honey
125g [2/3 cup] soft light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, plus 2 medium yolks
125ml [1/2 cup] double [heavy] cream
2 rounded Tbsp tahini
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
a large pinch of sea salt flakes
1 tsp each, black and white sesame seeds
Start by making the tahini pastry. Combine the butter, tahini, icing sugar and salt in a bowl and beat until soft and light. Add the egg yolks and mix again to combine. Fold in the flour, cinnamon and water and beat until combined, but do not overwork the pastry. Add a little more water if needed to bring the dough together. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap in cling film [plastic wrap] and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface into a neat round that is 3–4cm [1 1/4–1 1/2 in] wider all round than the tart tin. Carefully line the tin with the pastry, pressing it into the ridges and corners. Trim off the excess from the top, crimp the edges and chill for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
Prick the base of the tart shell with a fork, line with foil, fill with baking rice and cook on a solid baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and rice and bake for a further 2 minutes to crisp the base. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl either over a pan of barely simmering water or in a microwave on a low setting. Stir until smooth and then spoon into the baked tart shell. Spread to evenly cover the base and set aside.
To make the filling, gently melt the butter in a small pan and continue to cook until the milk solids start to turn golden brown and the butter smells nutty and toasted. Scoop into a bowl and cool slightly. Add the honey, sugar, eggs and extra yolks, cream, tahini, vinegar, vanilla and salt flakes. Whisk to combine. Carefully pour into the tart shell, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top, slide the tart back into the oven and cook for 40–45 minutes until the filling has puffed up at the edges and is golden brown and set, with a slight wobble. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe excerpted with permission Pies & Tarts: For All Seasons by Annie Rigg published by Quadrille October 2018.
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